Through a partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission, Auburn University Montgomery, and University of Alabama Center for Business and Economic Research, the On-line Economic Development Initiative improves economic development decision-making in Appalachian Alabama by assembling, organizing, and maintaining a collection of socio-economic data relevant to industrial recruiters, site selection managers, and other economic development professionals. The Internet-accessible data is available for each county within the ARC service area of Alabama.
This project is crucial in developing a truly integrated system of exchange information vital for economic development. Local economic developers often do not have access to key information needed to support grant applications that could assist in locating new businesses. Many of these data are available through Alabama’s universities and state agencies. However, these data are often difficult to access without substantial expertise in working with the complex formats used in the databases. The On-line Economic Development Initiative centralizes this data in a user-friendly format through a web-based interface providing “one-stop shopping” to developers.